The Most Important Meal of the Day

I’m not trying to pull a fast one here–it’s breakfast. As with anything to do with nutrition, there is conflicting evidence regarding the importance of breakfast to your general health. This must be the only WebMD article that doesn’t suggest you have cancer. WebMD is in favor of breakfast, as is Johns Hopkins. They both provide some background, health information, and a simple guide. Here’s HuffPo, in their characteristically snarky and cynical way, playing devil’s advocate. The problem is, nutrition science changes constantly. You’ve probably noticed it several times throughout your life. One day, eggs are bad for you, the next, they are the healthy option for breakfast. There are several reasons for this. Let’s make it easy, though. Think back to your 10th grade chemistry class. When you did an experiment, how many chemicals would you usually combine? Usually, you would use two; sometimes you’d combine three. Now think about how many chemical processes are happening in your body (and in your gastrointestinal tract alone!) at any given moment. Then think about the food you eat–even if you’re eating fresh, raw organic foods–and try to add up the chemicals involved. Trying to analyze the interactions of all of these chemicals in an incredible task. It’s difficult to isolate one food item or chemical when testing interactive capabilities with your gullet. Also, science is always sciencing. And Science’s science is to Science.

All of that aside, I’m a huge fan, and proponent, of breakfast. There’s another problem we have to consider, though. When you think of breakfast foods, what comes to mind? We’ve got Pop-Tarts, cereal, cinnamon rolls, waffles, pancakes, bagels, bacon, sausage, toast, any number of processed-as-fuck foods. Even if you’re eating granola with yogurt and fruit, you should look at the labels on the yogurt and granola to make sure you aren’t consuming too much sugar, carbs and processed blarga. Here’s a hint, you are. Fruit is already high in sugar. Ideally, you should be consuming fewer than eight grams of sugar per meal, if you eat four times a day. EIGHT! Now go pick up any random package of food in your kitchen and see how many grams per serving there are. It’s shocking.

So. With all of this conflicting information, what are we supposed to think of breakfast? Science aside, you’ve just slept around seven or eight hours and you’re probably hungry. I would highly recommend you schedule breakfast-making and breakfast-eating time into your schedule. Here’s the thing. You’ve just woken up. If you checked your phone for email and social media, you’ve probably encountered a fair amount of horribleness. You now have a choice: you can rush to get ready, thrust yourself into traffic and get frustrated, then arrive to work bitter and annoyed; or you can schedule time to yourself in the morning to cook something simple and delicious, eat it, feel rejuvenated, and arrived to work (traffic be damned!) with a cheery, can-do attitude. Yes, I believe a good breakfast is magical. Prove that, Science! If you enjoy eating, there’s no reason to skip breakfast. That’s the nub and thrust here.

I’ll share with you now a typical breakfast in my home. I tend to heavily favor vegetables over fruits and even grains for breakfast. Fruits and grains of your choice can easily be added to this sort of breakfast. Just make sure you are consuming fresh fruits and whole grains without any added junk in them. Here’s a handy chart of nutritional information about fruits and vegetables. This recipe is for two people.

1 c broccoli, chopped
1/4 c red onion, diced
1/2 c red pepper, diced
4 nice-sized button or baby bella mushroom, sliced
2 big leaves of kale
2 cloves of garlic, minced
black pepper to taste
tarragon to taste (all of it)
3 eggs (Please get eggs from a person you trust who raises hens. Otherwise, you can crumble some tofu in.)
4 T spicy hummus
1/4 of a green pepper, in 1/2-inch slices
1/2 of an avocado, sliced into 8 pieces

Step one: pour a drink! Maybe some juice or tea. Or a sassy glass of champagne if it’s the weekend. I’m not here to judge. Bring a few tablespoons of water to simmer in a nice, wide pan. Add the onion and pepper and let them cook for a few minutes, then add the broccoli. Overcooked broccoli is the armpits so you want to make sure the next few steps happen fairly quickly. When broccoli gets bright green, it’s trying to tell you that it’s fit for consumption. Next, throw in the mushrooms and stir them in. This is a good time to add any spices you want to use. Black pepper is a great standard. You could also use some cayenne or Tony Chachere’s, if you want a spicy breakfast. You could also squirt on some hot sauce at the end. QUIT THINKING OF HOT SAUCE AND FOCUS! Throw the garlic on top while you’re tearing the kale, ribs removed, into the mixture. Here’s the thing about garlic. It’s crazy good for your heart and for your liver but only if it’s raw. And raw garlic is…intense. If heart or liver health are your concern, just toss in the garlic at the very end. If not, let it cook for a couple of minutes.

If, at any point, shit gets reeeeeeeeeal sizzly, add more water. Water, as you may or may not know, is not a fat. You can add as much as you’d like. But you don’t really want too much left just before you add the eggs because gross. If you’re hosting a cooking show, you can scramble them in a separate bowl beforehand. But if you’re a lazy, sleepy, possibly hungover lass/lad, just crack them straight into the pan, rapid-fire, and use your spatula to swirl them around. Cook for about seven minutes or so, flipping, stirring, whisking, whatever your personal style, until you can see the egg isn’t shiny and raw but cooked and not trying to murder you with it’s raw egg-ness.

Divide that deliciousness up between two plates, throw on the hummus, green pepper and avocado and then eat it all with the lowest hole in your face. I dig it because it’s delicious. My paramour digs it because it’s lean protein and lots of veg. I also like to dice the avocado and put it on top of the vegetable mixture. If it’s sliced, you have more control over avocado distribution. Life is full of complicated choices. Be warned that when you eat cleanly like this, you may need to use the restroom faster than you’re used to. But it’s good! Let’s not be embarrassed: food goes in, food comes out. It shouldn’t take longer to come out than it did to go in. That’s all I’ll say about poo. This time!!! Duhn duhn duuuuuuuhhhhhhhhn!

You deserve a good breakfast. Because you’re awesome. I firmly believe that. Thanks for visiting my kitchen x


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